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The Lego Company History

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Ole Kirk Christiansen is a carpenter from Billund in Denmark. He began making wooden toys in 1932, but his business was not as successful during the Great Depression. Christiansen renamed his company “Lego,” a contraction of the Danish words leg godt, which translates to “play well.”

In 1934 Lego adopted plastic bricks to make production sets and the first sets were marketed. The company also established an entirely new division, Dakta, that would focus on educational products.

In the second half of the 20th Century, Lego expanded its product range and marketing efforts. In 1971, Lego introduced dollhouses, furniture pieces and in 1974 the first Lego human figures. They evolved into the minifigure designs that are still in use to this day. Lego began to produce more sophisticated Lego Technic sets for older children.

In 1987, Lego introduced the World Cup Lego building contest for children to participate in. The event took place in Billund and 38 kids from 17 different countries took part. Lego began creating themes in the same year. They were seen as components of an overall system. These included Lego Space, Lego Castle and Lego Town (later renamed Lego City) as well as Lego FabuLand. Lego also deviated from its standard smiley face for the first time in 1988 when it introduced a line of pirate Lego characters that came with a variety of expressions and facial features.

In 1999, Lego shifted the way it licensed its characters from franchises. It began offering Lego versions of popular characters such as Spider-Man, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and many others. This was met with mixed reactions from fans and critics alike.

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